Well, that was the last piece of celery, so I'm on to red pepper slices as I write this, left over from last night. The reception-turned-party was a huge success, as was the preceding recital. I spent the day cleaning, grocery shopping, chopping vegetables, moving furniture, and not studying. There were so many temptations; I'd never realized how much I grazed during the day until all that food was back in front of me. I didn't bake cookies, as I couldn't bear the thought of not snacking on my own baking. I ended up buying some from Hy-Vee, and even though they were in front of me all day, I did not give in! When I was hollowing out the bread round for spinach dip, I caught myself several times as my hand slowly lifted a piece of torn bread to my mouth. Crumbs and thirds of cookies, normally popped into my mouth, went into the garbage instead. Spoons used to stir dips went into the sink. I did slip up once, but it was a complete reflex. You mix punch, you take a sip to taste it's ok. Grr! It was good too! Five more days and it will be ok to drink some fruit juice.
At the party, I had club soda. Several radishes, red peppers, celery sticks, a little bit of spinach dip, no pretzels, cookies, crackers, bread, wine, pop, punch (except that one slip-up). I'm now officially ratting on Dave, as I worked so hard to stay on track. He had two beers and a shot of rum. Let's also state for the record: his students are no longer invited to our house. One or two are good, responsible, mature guys. That's all I'll say about that.
The party really heated up after James had his eighth shot and thought it would be funny to play Barbra Streisand's greatest hits on our piano wearing just his underwear. Just kidding, Betty. James was a charming guest-of-honour. We sent him on his way back to Cincinnati this morning, leftover pretzels and crackers in hand.
And now it's crunch time. And I don't mean celery. My primary comprehensive exam is exactly one week from today. I fly to Eugene on Thursday, my exam starts at 8:30am the next morning (8 hours written), then I have an oral defense the following Thursday. Teaching styles across North America, major pedagogs, their teachings and their lineage, history (of course), reeds (of course), repertoire, curriculum (eg. "Design a 4-year college syllabus, including repertoire, etudes, technique, reedmaking requirement, expectations of different levels, etc.) Luckily I'll be on South Beach phase 2, so I can enjoy a glass of red wine afterwards, whichever way the exam goes!